Four Pillars of the National Honor Society

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To be inducted into the National Honor Society, or NHS, students must have good grades, but that isn't all. To be accepted, students must meet the four National Honor Society pillars: scholarship, leadership, character and service. When students become juniors in high school, if their academic grade point average is high enough and they meet the additional national honor society requirements, they become eligible for application into NHS. Understanding each of the National Honor Society pillars can help students apply successfully.

1 National Honor Society Scholarship

When a high school student enters into his junior year of high school, his grade point average, or GPA, will determine if he is eligible for membership into the National Honor Society. To be considered, a student must have an 85 percent average. In many schools, the GPA must be 3.0 on a 4.0 scale; however, schools can raise the required average, so it is important that students familiarize themselves with the scholarship standards at their school. Once elected, the student cannot fall below that average. If she does, she can be removed from the National Honor Society.

2 Leadership

Leadership is another pillar of the National Honor Society. Students should demonstrate leadership within the school community. Because NHS students become leaders within the school, they should showcase the ability to solve problems and act as role models for their peers. Positions within other organizations , such as student government, peer leadership and sports teams, provide students with opportunities to assume leadership roles. Students should also support and participate in school activities according to the guidelines of NHS.

3 Character

In addition to good grades and leadership qualities, students in the national honor society must also show that they have good character, since these students model a higher standard of conduct. Students must conduct themselves in a respectful manner. Students should have no blemishes on their discipline records, and the faculty must consider them upstanding citizens. Teachers and other references are asked to rate students on a scale from one to four, with four being the highest score. A student with exemplary character makes decisions based on the rules of moral conduct.

4 Service

Finally, students applying for the national honor society must demonstrate service to their communities. Students must offer their time to the school or local community without any form of compensation. During their time in high school, eligible students should be engage in volunteer work or community service. Students should document these experience for the induction process. Once they become members of NHS, students must continue their commitment to service by volunteering their time at school events and other community activities. This can include volunteering with campaigns, tutoring younger children, or a host of other activities. Although there isn't a national requirement for the amount of service hours, some schools might have more specific requirements for their NHS students.

Residing in New Jersey, Kerry O'Neill has been a teacher of English for over 17 years and a writer since 2000. She began by writing curriculum about American and British literature and is now a contributing content writer for various online publications. She graduated summa cum laude from the College of New Jersey with a Bachelor of Arts in English.